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Can you live without your washing machine?

Well could you?

I try not to hyperventilate when i think of the chaos that would ensue if my John Lewis washing machine gave up the ghost. It has on a few occasions and i have felt bereft. Like i have lost my best friend.

It might seem a little bit dramatic but when you do at least two loads of washing a day and thats on the weeks (yes i said weeks) when im not changing the bed sheets! Take all the sheets of the beds in this house and you are looking at a sizeable Mount Washmore. We are heading into pre-teen hormones as well so there can be real need to wash certain people’s clothes a little more often than usual *ahem*

As i have such a close relationship with my washing machine,  I try to look after it, someone told me that using liquid instead of powder increases its life and keeping filters and things clean. But one thing i can’t help is something completely outside of my control! Our washing machine lives in our outside garage.Its a few short steps from the back door so on a rainy evening it can be done without getting too wet. But being a bit wet isnt a problem to an outdoor dwelling washing machine but the cold, freezing temperatures can be! We havent really had many of those nights (thankfully) this year but in previous years we have had more than our fare share of sub zero temps and sure enough as the drain pipes run out of the garage and into the drains they froze and no water was going anywhere from the drum.

Cue error message from the machine and start of melt down panic. ‘is that the kids uniform trapped in the machine until the weather thaws?’ or even worse that pair of socks that i just really love….you know the ones, where you hang around to the end of the cycle just so you can get them into the tumble dryer as quick as possible?

hmmm…just me then?

Over the years my adept and able OH has wrapped the drainage pipes of the machine in layers and layers of insulation till it looks like a giant, bloated sausage coming out of the side of the wall. But sadly it isn’t always enough and there have been a few times when my wonderful OH has been out there in the late hours of the evening with the hair dryer and me silently hopping around inside wondering if i need to start bagging things up to take to the laundrette!

Thankfully we haven’t had to go that far yet, although i have had to call in a few ‘mates’ favours for the odd load of washing when the backlog is threatening to engulf us as we use the bathroom.!:)

Like i said this year we haven’t had to deal with that..but as with the weather in this country that could all change and we will see a freeze snap into May!!

this is a partnered post

April 10, 2014 - 8:45 pm

A Strong Coffee - I may have cried when my washing machine broke!

Fountains Abbey #CountryKids

During our stay in Yorkshire, when we could drag the kids away from the swimming pool! We used our national trust cards. Our first visit was to the incredible Fountains Abbey which is in Ripon. It is HUGE and there is so much of it to see. We only managed a little walk around the Abbey really but there are deer parks, water gardens and a herb garden. It was a little bit of an overcast day but we headed out with a packed lunch and some wellies…

The history of the abbey is quite fascinating.  In 1132, 13 monks came here to live a simpler life.


The abbey they founded became one of the richest in Europe. Over 400 years later, when Henry VIII demanded the closure of the monasteries, the monks left behind what are now the most complete Cistercian abbey remains in the country.

It is so impressive and wondering around the ruins you can see how grand it would have been in its hay day. The kids had a great time jumping from rock to rock and playing near the stream. I can imagine that it is the most gorgeous place to come in the summer when the temperatures are higher! perfect for picnics. It would be lovely to return one day and enjoy the other parts of the park that we missed. The kids had a quick play in the play area while some of us warmed up in the cafe and shop. Then it was time for home driving across the glorious yorkshire moors. The sun even came out for us!


Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

March 29, 2014 - 7:51 am

The Beesley Buzz - that looks a really amazing places to explore! #countrykids
The Beesley Buzz recently posted…A Short trip to the Park #CountryKids and a week in picturesMy Profile

March 29, 2014 - 8:00 am

Iona Burchell - Oh, now that looks amazing. I will add it to my list of places to visit!

March 29, 2014 - 2:13 pm

Coombemill - That is the most impressive looking Abbey I have seen. It looks full of history and wonder and I love the photos of the kids dashing along the corridors. It does remind me a little of Nick’s school on Country Kids last week! Sounds like you have had a wonderful holiday. Thank you for sharing your day out from there on Country Kids.
Coombemill recently posted…Country Kids from Coombe MillMy Profile

March 29, 2014 - 2:39 pm

Katie - Adding this to the bucket list! Love it!

March 29, 2014 - 2:46 pm

normaleve - I clicked on your site from a comment on mumturnedmom. I’m also a mom of five and always happy to “meet” another! Looks like you all had a wonderful day here!
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March 30, 2014 - 9:38 pm

brinabird and son - Looks great. I love the spaces and the kids obviously enjoyed it too. Glad the sun came out for you. #Countrykids
brinabird and son recently posted…Project 365 Days 82 – 88My Profile

March 31, 2014 - 12:29 am

Sara (@mumturnedmom) - Wow, that looks absolutely amazing! Beautiful photos, but such beautiful ruins; I love visiting places like this :)
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April 3, 2014 - 9:40 pm

Jane Pettit-Blackmore - I love Ripon. what fantastic shots x



March 24, 2014 - 10:21 pm

Zarouhi Grumbar - OH YES! This is true wisdom.


Hope to see you tomorrow for a new week’s linky

sunshine and me #whatsthestory #magicmoments

I absolutely love the sun. I really really do. I think i might be a hairs breath away from having a little sprinkling of SAD. You know when the sunshine changes your mood so much. It literally lifts me being in the sun, feeling its warmth and seeing the colours it causes to jump around the landscape. One thing that i noticed spending a week in the countryside surrounded by hills and open spaces was just how amazing the sun looks in an uninterrupted landscape with no light pollution. I was taken away by the beauty in each sunrise and sunset. It was sensational. So much so that i tried on several times to just capture it as perfectly as i could. I used a tripod a lot of the time and set my camera up way before the sun started to appear on the horizon.  I was amazed actually how quickly it rises once it appears it is up and shining strong above the horizon within about 10 minutes so i wanted to make the most of the light that it afforded.

I set my white balance manually, so that i could get the truest colour rendition directly in camera. Then i set my camera manually because i really wanted to control the amount of light that was hitting the sensor. So for those who like the details. I set my aperture or F stop to around f18 (remember the sunny 16 rule!), i used a long lens and a shutter of about 1/160 if i was hand holding. My ISO was 125 and i had set my white balance to custom. I have intentionally not edited these shots in post processing. So that the pureness of what the camera has captured can be seen. The only thing i did do was clone out a few dirt spots which were obviously on my lens..tsk..very naughty!


here you go..

the sun….

she rises!

March 18, 2014 - 10:56 am

Charly Dove - Oh wow Sarah I absolutely love these – all of them. The colour is incredible. Was so tempted to scroll down and have a sneaky peek before reading your words but I didn’t! I must teach myself more of the technical aspects of photography. I’m self taught but I really need to know rather than just going with what I see.

I hope you had the best time away, it sounds like such a tranquil place and sunshine definitely makes for a more positive outlook. Such a wonderful post Sarah, thank you so much for sharing #whatsthestory

Will share later :)
Charly Dove recently posted…Capturing the sceneMy Profile

March 19, 2014 - 10:24 am

Alison - Lovely photos. I really must learn how to use my camera properly. I always use auto focus
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March 19, 2014 - 1:55 pm

Victoria Welton - What really beautiful photos. You are so right – the sun really does change everything :) Thank you for linking to Magic Moments x

March 20, 2014 - 8:40 pm

Kel Brett - They are really beautiful photos, I love the colours

March 21, 2014 - 9:35 pm

Ben - Beautiful! Love the first one with the blues in it. Now what’s the sunny f16 rule?
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March 25, 2014 - 10:10 pm

Emily Foran - Stunning!!
I’ve seen some fabulous sunsets recently but do my best to avoid sunrise ;) xx

March 28, 2014 - 7:12 pm

suzanne3childrenandit - I absolutely agree with you about the warmth of the sun – I am longing for it right now. These photos are stunning. I need you to teach me how to use my new camera. Please! x
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Where is the horse? #countrykids

Whilst we were staying in Yorkshire we had the most incredible view from our cottage across the countryside. It was glorious to look out on and what intrigued me and the girls was there was a figure in the hillside as we were looking at it. My girls, being of the horsey mad persuasion were very interested in getting a little bit closer to see what it looked like close up!!

Can you see it?

It is the Kilburn white horse and apparently it was created by a school master and his children in the 1800′s. Thats some school project! It had to be covered up during the world wars as i guess it is a fairly obvious ‘come and get us’ sign from the sky!

We decided to have a little drive up to see if we could walk to it. The drive up we could really really tell how high up we were going and our old timer of a car seemed to struggle on the very steep hill on the way up. I was amazed just how many trucks were actually going up the route!

Once we got to the top though this is what we were met with…

and it didnt get much better. We went for a little walk along the path to see if we could do the short walk to the horse but we eventually had to turn back as there was so much mist that a friendly passer by advised us that there was a bit drop off to the left and we might want to think again with the little ones!

Which we did.

Sadly we never got to see the horse up close but we got plenty of amazing views across the valley. Maybe next time!

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

March 15, 2014 - 12:56 pm

Coombe Mill - Fiona - Not a place to be in the rolling mist! As you say what a school project and one that’s stood the test of time. I hope you had a lovely family holiday and the weather improved for you. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.
Coombe Mill – Fiona recently posted…Country Kids from Coombe MillMy Profile

March 15, 2014 - 5:11 pm

Sara (@mumturnedmom) - A shame that you didn’t get to see the horse, but amazing views nonetheless x #CountryKids
Sara (@mumturnedmom) recently posted…#CountryKids – more fun in the snow…My Profile

March 15, 2014 - 7:32 pm

Steph @MisplacedBrit - Gorgeous gorgeous misty shots! Love them… Well done getting out with everyone, I only have 3 and mostly it’s a challenge!!
Popping over from #CountryKids :-)

March 16, 2014 - 2:54 pm

brinabird and son - Oh dear maybe next time. At least you got some fresh air and enjoyed the views. #CountryKids
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March 16, 2014 - 4:39 pm

Honey - What a beautiful landscape! x
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March 18, 2014 - 9:35 pm

Anonymous - What a fun adventure. There are lots of those horses around the country aren’t there? I might have to go exploring and find one!

Sian @

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